Key West isn't what it used to be. Developers like Fred Pacey, catering to the tourist trade, are ironing out its kinks and making it as homogenized as Disney World. Now Pacey, or somebody he's fronting for, has his eye on the block where Gideon Lowry hangs his p.i. shingle. When Lowry advises the neighbors who run a Cuban groseria to hold out for a higher price, and their store burns to the ground, he's left with nothing to do but shake his fist at Pacey, and tell his ex-lover Gabriella Wade in the meantime that he'll be happy to run a check on her intended, dealmaker Roy Emerson. Roy's antipathy toward doctors and hospitals makes him refuse to submit to screening for Tay-Sachs disease, even after a bee sting and a nearby medical man indicate that he's got a little problem with anaphylactic shock. His reluctance is a big mistake, since Lowry's investigation (which briefly ropes in Dave Robicheaux, recast as a ""big city fella"" in New Orleans) reveals that he's got a lot more to hide than whether he's a Tay-Sachs carrier. Lowry marks time, playing the piano, wishing he could have a drink, and waiting for his two cases to grow together. They do, with a stunning lack of surprise Leslie's series has lost most of the moody atmosphere that made his first couple of entries (Killing Me Softly, 1994; Night and Day, 1995) so distinctive. Just like Key West.